A long while ago I was asked to do an online Q&A about training for, and preparing for, a marathon. I though that now we are in January, a lot of people will be thinking about their training for marathons such as the Virgin Money London Marathon, Paris Marathon and Brighton Marathon.
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A long while ago I was asked to do an online Q&A about training for, and preparing for, a marathon. I though that rather than trying to write a clever new blog, i'd be lazy and simply copy and paste!!
So here you are...
Q What would you say is the best training plan for a first marathon?
A One written by me! Seriously though, a personalised plan is best so that it is achievable and realistic around your other commitments.
Q I get to around 20 miles in a marathon and then lose energy and need to be sick. My training to 20 miles is ok and I’ve been managing my fuelling ok. I managed my fuelling much better at Paris marathon and it helped but I still needed to stop and heave. Perhaps it is partly psychological? Do you think running a longer distance in training might help?
A Are you definitely managing your fuelling ok? It sounds like you are getting low on fuel to me. Are you expecting ‘the wall’? There could be a psychological element happening as well. If you are ok up to 20 miles I would definitely consider trying longer in training, try 22 miles and see how that goes.
Q Can you do marathon training on 2/3 runs per week with 1 PT session and 1 or 2 bootcamp sessions? My marathon is in 20 weeks time.
A For sure as long as one of those runs is a long run to build your endurance.
Q I am a hungry runner and struggle with anything over 2 hours. I use gels but what else would you suggest eating?
A Gels are great if you can continuously take them throughout a whole marathon without feeling sick or getting stomach issue (I can’t!), shot bloks are a good alternative, as well as jelly babies, bananas, nuts.
Q I would like to try my first ultra marathon next summer. Would that be ok after a spring marathon? I’m nervous.
A A marathon in April is perfectly timed for building training for a summer ultra (distance wise). Just go for it. Any ultra up to 50km is achievable from marathon training.
Q What is the most effective way to improve my endurance for marathon running?
A Your long runs are vital for building your endurance up slowly. Never skip these sessions, without them, you’ll struggle to build the required endurance for a marathon.
Q Can you do too many miles training for a marathon?
A Many people do over train and it can be a big problem. A max of 40 miles per week is usually high enough for most people. The long runs are the most important.
Q I have VLM in April, my 3rd marathon. What is the best pre-hab stengthener for hip flexors please?
A There is a great article with exercises here.
Q I want to ask about speed. How do I increase my speed for a 26.2?
A There are a few ways – tempo runs, intervals and hill sessions will all be hugely beneficial. Make all your sessions count and mix it up a bit to keep it interesting.
Q Back to back marathons – How close is too close together?
A This depends on your training plan, your fitness levels and your goals. I would recommend a good month of taking it easier after a tough marathon.
Clever new blog may follow soon, watch this space!
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I own Running Adventures.